Bourke's Bookshelf: Wild and Crazy Days with Grampa
This week's featured author is Prior Lake writer Maggie Cedarberg and her children's series Wild and Crazy Days with Grampa.
More than 20 years later, I still have fond memories of some of the stories my grandpa used to tell to my siblings, my cousins and me when we were little.
They weren’t particularly long stories, and they typically served to explain why Grandpa was missing the tops of two of his fingers. It wasn’t until we were a little older, and all of our parents had a good laugh, that we learned Grandpa’s fingertips didn’t get stuck when he was picking his nose and definitely didn’t come all the way off when he was biting his fingernails. He had, in fact, lost them in a farming accident. And by the way, that happened when he was an adult, so no, he wasn’t forced to play the trombone in high school band just because that was the only instrument available to someone with two missing fingertips.
Those little anecdotes might not sound like much, but now that my grandpa is gone, they’re some of my favorite childhood memories. Like many grandparents around the world, he loved teasing his grandkids with silly stories.
Maggie Cedarberg enjoys that as well. The Prior Lake grandma found so much joy in sharing stories with her 10 grandchildren, that she decided to write some down and turn them into books.
The first two volumes in the "Wild and Crazy Days with Grampa" series came out in 2022 and 2023, complete with cover art by Cedarberg’s grandson, Reuben Cedarberg, and young neighbor, Jozie Maya. Both books feature grandfathers telling stories to their grandkids, and the second includes some blank pages in the back for young readers to continue the story themselves if they’d like.
Cedarberg has two more books coming in her Grampa series and plans to start on a Gramma series in the near future. While she doesn’t expect to strike it rich on her books, Cedarberg hopes her work will get kids interested in writing.
‘Uh-Oh’ by Maggie Cedarberg (2022)
During a babysitting session, Grampa tells eager grandkids Isaac and Jozie a special story no one else has ever heard.
It started when he vacationed in Sweden, wanting to see the country of some of his ancestors. But just when Grampa was eating lunch in the Swedish countryside, something strange happened. He noticed these strange little beings, who were about knee high and looking like tiny farmers with long beards and flannel shirts.
Isaac and Jozie are on the edges of their seats as Grampa tells them about his unusual encounter, and teaches them a little Swedish along the way.
‘How Old Are You?’ by Maggie Cedarberg (2023)
Are Dean and Rosie really supposed to believe their Grampa Champion’s story that dinosaurs are real? And that he has actually seen and worked with them?
It’s a tall order, but when there’s no other explanation for the strange thundering rumble sound plaguing Minnesota residents, there might not be any other explanation.
And when the president of the United States calls for a dinosaur expert to help solve the problem, Grampa is No. 1 on the list.
THERESA BOURKE may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .